Snubs involving players perfectly capable of making the All-Star team continue to be a yearly tradition, and in 2019, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone is speaking out about one of his own — infielder Gleyber Torres.
“It’s a joke that he’s not on that team,” Boone told reporters before the Yankees’ Subway Series game with the crosstown New York Mets on Wednesday. “Gleyber Torres not an All-Star? You can kick rocks on that one. That’s ridiculous.”
The Yankees, leading the American League with a 54-29 record heading into Wednesday’s games, will still send three players to Cleveland for next week’s festivities. Catcher Gary Sanchez and second baseman DJ LeMahieu will start, and stopper Aroldis Chapman will be in the bullpen.
That doesn’t change Boone’s feelings about Torres being left off, though. And it doesn’t help that Tampa Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe, Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios were added to the AL team Wednesday to replace injured players previously voted into the game.
Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor also made the team as a reserve, while Jorge Polanco of the Minnesota Twins was selected to start at that position.
So Boone gave a big vote of confidence to Torres, who still could conceivably make the squad at either second base or shortstop as an injury replacement.
“He’s been unbelievable for us,” Boone said. “First-place club, the offensive consistency he’s had, the power, the on-base, the playing both positions in the middle infield. Yeah, it doesn’t seem right to me that he isn’t on that team.”
Heading into Wednesday’s action, Torres had a .295 batting average with 19 home runs, 48 RBIs and a .907 OPS while playing both middle infield positions this season.
“I don’t control that situation,” Torres said this weekend. “I put up really good numbers to make the team. I don’t have the last word. I knew I put up good numbers and if it doesn’t happen, I will take those days for rest.”
With Didi Gregorius back at shortstop after rehabbing following offseason Tommy John surgery, Torres is part of an middle infield tandem that’s hard to beat.
“Look, I know there’s all kind of players and coaches vote and fan voting, and sometimes that ends a few weeks ago, and obviously every team needs to be represented,” Boone said. “I understand there’s a lot of moving parts that make [voting players into the game] difficult, and ultimately every year you’re going to have guys that are certainly deserving that don’t get in that game.
“But the Gleyber one is one of those that’s a head-scratcher for me.”
—Field Level Media